Hierapolis


Hierapolis

:"For the Syrian city called Hierapolis Bambyce, see Manbij."

Infobox World Heritage Site
WHS = Hierapolis-Pamukkale


State Party = TUR
Type = Mixed
Criteria = iii, iv, vii
ID = 485
Region = Europe and North America
Year = 1988
Session = 12th
Link = http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/485
Location map
Turkey
label=Hierapolis
label_size=100
lat=37.923056
long=29.123889
marksize=9
position=right
width=300
float=right
caption=Hierapolis (Pamukkale)

Hierapolis (Greek: polytonic|Ἱεράπολις 'holy city') was the ancient city on top of the famous Pamukkale hot springs located in south-western Turkey near Denizli.

Hierapolis is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As the hot springs of Pamukkale were used as a spa since the 2nd century B.C., people came to soothe their ailings here. Many of them retired and died here. The large necropolis is filled with sarcophagi.

The great baths were constructed with huge stone blocks without the use of cement, and consisted of various closed or open sections linked together. There are deep niches in the inner section of the bath, library, gymnasium and other closed or open locations. The complex, which was constructed in the 2nd century, constitutes a good example of vault-type architecture. The complex is now an archaeological museum.

History

:"For the Geologic history, see Pamukkale#Origin."There are only a few historical facts known about the origin of the city. No traces of the presence of Hittites or Persians have yet been found. However it was customary to build a temple on the site of such a natural phenomenon. The Phrygians built a temple dedicated to Hieron probably in the first half of the third century BC. This temple would later form the centre of Hierapolis. It was already used by the citizens of the nearby town Laodiceia, a city built by Antiochus II Theos in 261-253 BC. Hierapolis was founded as a thermal spa early in the second century BC and given by the Romans to Eumenes II, king of Pergamon in 190 BC. The city was named after the name of the existing temple, or possibly to honour Hiera, wife of Telephos — son of Heracles by a Mysian princess Auge - the mythical founder of the Attalid dynasty. The city was expanded with proceeds from the booty from the Battle of Magnesia in 190 BC, where Antiochus the Great was defeated by Eumenes II who had sided with the Romans. Thus Hierapolis became part of the Pergamon kingdom.

Hierapolis became a healing centre where doctors used the hot thermal springs as a treatment for their patients. The city began issuing bronze coins in the second century BC. These coins give the name Hieropolis (town of the temple Hieron). This name eventually changed into Hierapolis (Holy city). cite journal | author=Kevin M. Miller| title=Apollo Lairbenos | journal=Numen| month=July | year=1985| volume=32| issue=1| url=http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0029-5973%28198507%2932%3A1%3C46%3AAL%3E2.0.CO%3B2-Z&size=LARGE&origin=JSTOR-enlargePage| pages=46–70]

In 133 BC, when Attalus III the last Attalid king of Pergamon died, he bequeathed his kingdom to the Rome. Hierapolis thus became part of the Roman province of Asia. The Hellenistic city was slowly transformed into a Roman town.

In the year 17 A.D., during the rule of emperor Tiberius, an earthquake destroyed the city. In 60 AD, during the rule of emperor Nero, an even more severe earthquake left the city completely in ruins. Afterwards the city was rebuilt in Roman style with the financial support from the emperor. It was during this period that the city attained its present form. The theatre was built in 129 AD when emperor Hadrian visited the town. It was renovated under Septimus Severus (193-211). When emperor Caracalla visited the town in 215 he bestowed on the city the much coveted title of Neocoros, according the city certain privileges and the right of sanctuary.

This was the "golden age" of Hierapolis. Thousands of people came to town to benefit from the medicinal properties of the hot springs. New building projects were started : two Roman baths, a gymnasium, several temples, a main street with a colonnade and a fountain at the hot spring. Hierapolis became one of the most prominent cities in the field of the arts, philosophy and trade in the Roman empire. The town grew to 100,000 inhabitants and became wealthy. According to the geographer Stephanus of Byzantium, the city was given its name because of the large number of temples it contained (again a sign of wealth).

Antiochus the Great had sent 2,000 Jewish families to Lydia and Phrygia from Babylon and Mesopotamia, later joined by Jews from Palestine. There grew a Jewish congregation in Hierapolis with their own more or less independent organizations. It is estimated that the Jewish population in the region was as high as 50,000 in 62 BC. [ [http://www.padfield.com/acrobat/history/laodicea.pdf Jewish congregation in Hierapolis] ] Several sarcophagi in the necropolis attest of their presence.

Through the influence of Paul the Apostle a Christian church was founded here while he was at Ephesus. [Colossians 4:13] Philip the Apostle spent the last years of his life here with his three daughters. [ [http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/papias.html Early Christian Writings : Papias] ] In 80 AD he was martyred by crucifixion and was buried here. His daughters remained active as prophetesses in the region. The Martyrium was built on the spot where the apostle was crucified.

The city was visited for the last time by an Roman emperor in 370 by emperor Valens during his campaign against the Sassanid king Shapur II.

During the 4th century the Christians filled the Plutonium (a sacred cave, see below) with stones, thus giving evidence that the paganism had been entirely supplanted by the Christian faith. In 531 the Byzantine emperor Justinian raised the bishop of Hierapolis to the rank of metropolitan. The town was made a see of Phrygia Pacatiana. [RAMSAY, Cities and Bishoprics of Phrygia (Oxford, 1895-1897) ] The Roman baths were transformed to a Christian basilica. During the Byzantine period the city continued to flourish and also remained an important centre for Christianity.

In the early 7th century, the town was devastated by Persian armies and again by a destructive earthquake. Afterwards came a slow recovery.

In the 12th century, the area came under the control of the Seljuk sultanate of Konya.

In the year 1190 crusaders under Frederick Barbarossa fought with the Byzantines and conquered the town of Philip the Apostle.

About thirty years later, the town was abandoned and the Seljuks built a castle in the 1220s.

The city was abandoned in the late 1300s.

In the year 1534, another earthquake toppled the remains of the ancient city. The ruins were slowly covered with a thick layer of limestone.

Hierapolis was first excavated by the German archaeologist Carl Humann (1839-1896) during the months June to July 1887. His excavation notes were published in his book "Altertümer von Hierapolis" in 1889. cite book | title= Altertümer von Hierapolis| last=Humann| first=Carl| coauthors=Conrad Cichorius, Walther Judeich, and Franz Winter,| year=1898| publisher=Jahrbuch des kaiserlich deutschen Archäologischen Instituts| location=Berlin] . His excavations were rather general and included a number of drilling holes. He would gain fame for his discovery in Pergamon of the Pergamon Altar (reconstructed in the Pergamon Museum in Berlin).

Excavations began in earnest in 1957 when Italian scientists, led by Paolo Verzone, began working on the site. These studies still continue. A restoration of the site has began. For example, large columns along the main street near the gate named after Domitian, that were toppled by the earthquakes, were erected again. They also unearthed a number of houses from the Byzantine period, including an eleventh century courtyard house.

Many statues and friezes were transported to museums in London, Berlin and Rome. In 1970 the Hierapolis Museum was built on the site of the former Roman baths.

After the large white limestone formations of the hot springs became famous again, in the 20th century, it turned into a tourist attraction, "Cotton Castle" (Pamukkale). The ancient city was rediscovered by travelers, but also partially destroyed by hotels that were built there. The new buildings were removed in recent years; however, the hot water pool of one hotel was retained, and, for a fee, it is possible to swim amongst ancient stone remains.

ignificant structures

The Hellenistic city was built with street running parallel or perpendicular to the main street. This main street ran from north to south close to cliff with the travertine terraces. It was about 1.500 m long, 13.5 m wide and was bordered on both sides by an arcade. At both ends of the main street there was a monumental gate, flanked by square towers built with massive blocks of stone. The side streets were about 3 m wide. There is another gate, the Domitian gate, close to the northern city gate. This triumphal arch, flanked by circular towers, consists of three arches and was built by proconsul Frontinius.

Theatre

The first theatre was constructed to the northeast above the northern gate, when the ancient city was destroyed by earthquake in 17 CE, during Hellenistic times.

After the earthquake of 60 CE, a new theatre was hollowed out of the slope of the hill further to the east during the reign of emperor Titus Flavius Vespasianus with the remains and the seats of the old theatre. There were alterations during the reign of emperors Hadrian and Septimius Severus.

There is an inscription in the theatre that relates to emperor Hadrian. Emperor Septimius Severus is portrayed, together with his wife Julia Domna and his two sons Caracalla and Geta, on a relief on the scena as the god Jupiter seated on his throne. Emperor Septimius Severus also had a number of new buildings constructed in Hierapolis in gratitude for the sophist Antipater of Hierapolis, his private secretary and the tutor of his two sons.

The auditorium or seating section ("cavea") consists of stacked seating with a capacity of 15,000 and is separated in two by a horizontal corridor ("diazoma"). The lower part had originally 20 rows, and the upper part 25 rows. But only 30 rows have survived. The auditorium is divided by eight vertical passageways with steps into nine aisles. The auditorium had also an imperial box. In 352 it underwent a thorough restoration and was adapted for water shows.

The proscenium (raised stage in front of the scene) consisted of two storeys with ornately decorated niches off to the sides. Several statues, reliefs (with myths of Apollo, Dionysios and Artemis) and decorative elements have been dug up by the Italian archaeological team and can be seen in the local museum.

The were four entrances ("vomitoria") to the theatre, each with six statues in niches, flanked by marble columns.

The theatre is now under restoration. Several reliefs and statues, depicting mythological figures, have been rescued from the rubble and fragments.

Temple of Apollo

A temple was raised to Apollo Lairbenos, the principal god of Hierapolis, during the Hellenistic period (as can be seen on coins from Hierapolis). [ [http://www.asiaminorcoins.com/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=174 Coins of Hierapolis] ] . Apollo was linked to the ancient Anatolian sungod Lairbenos and the god of oracles Kareios. But pagan worship also centered on Cybele, Artemis, Pluto and Poseidon. Now only the foundations of the Hellenistic temple remain. The temple stood within a peribolos (15 by 20m) in Doric style (a court enclosed by a wall, especially one surrounding a sacred area) . As the back of the temple was built against the hill, the peribolos was surrounded on three sides by marble Doric order columns.

The new temple was reconstructed in the 3rd century in Roman fashion, but also by recycling the stone blocks from the older temple. It has a smaller area, and now only its marble floor remains.

The temple of Apollo has deliberately been built over an active fault passing underneath, giving rise to the cave of the Plutonium, as shown by seismological investigations cite journal | author=Sergio Negria and Giovanni Leucc| title=Geophysical investigation of the Temple of Apollo (Hierapolis, Turkey)| journal=Journal of Archaeological Science | month=November | year=2006| volume=33| issue=11| url=http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6WH8-4JKYWKN-1&_user=10&_coverDate=11%2F30%2F2006&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_orig=search&_sort=d&view=c&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=0cc1fca69872fac2b741e671a38a80bd| pages=1505–1513| doi=10.1016/j.jas.2006.02.003] Temples dedicated to Apollo were often built over sites with geological activity, such as his most famous temple, the temple at Delphi [ [http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?chanID=sa027&articleID=0009BD34-398C-1F0A-97AE80A84189EEDF&pageNumber=3&catID=2 Questioning the Delphic Oracle; Scientific American, August 2003] ]

When the Christian faith was introduced as the official religion in the fourth century, this temple underwent a number of destructions. Part of the peribolos was dismantled to make room for a large Nympheum.

Plutonium

Next to this temple, within the sacred area, is the oldest local sanctuary, called the Plutonium (in Greek Πλουτωνειον = "the place of Pluto") or Chronion (named after Cronus), or Charonion (named after Charon), a shrine to the god of the underworld. It is a small cave, just large enough for one person to enter through a fenced entrance, beyond which stairs go down, and from which emerges toxic carbon dioxide gas caused by underground geologic activity. Behind the 3 m2 roofed chamber is a deep cleft in the rock, through which fast-flowing hot water passes releasing a sharp-smelling gas. [ [http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0006%3Aid%3Dhierapolis Hierapolis (in The Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites (eds. Richard Stillwell, William L. MacDonald, Marian Holland McAllister)] ] Because people died in the gas, people thought that the gas was sent by Pluto, god of the underworld.

During the early years of the town, castrated priests of Cybele descended into the Plutonium, crawled over the floor to pockets of oxygen or held their breath. Carbon dioxide is heavier than air and so tends to settle in hollows. They then came up to show that they were immune to the gas. People believed a "miracle" had happened and that therefore the priests were infused with superior powers and had divine protection. [ Pliny the Elder - "Naturalis Historia" Book II Ch. 95 : OF VENTS IN THE EARTH [http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.02.0137&query=head%3D%2398] ]

An enclosed area of 2,000 m2 stood in front of the entrance. It was covered by a thick layer of poisonous gas, killing everyone who dared to enter this area. The priests sold birds and other animals to the visitors, so that they could try out how deadly this enclosed area was.

Visitors could ask, on payment of large sums, questions to the oracle of Pluto. This provided a considerable source of income for the temple.

The Plutonium was described by several ancient writers: Strabo, Cassius Dio, and Damascius.

The entrance to the Plutonium was closed off during the Christian times.

External references: [http://www.atamanhotel.com/whc-pamukkale.html] [http://www.istanbulhotelsonline.com/turkey-information/iho-pamukkale.php3] [http://www.istanbulhotelsonline.com/turkey-information/iho-aquaduct-fontains.php3] [http://www.petentour.com/birgul/general/loadpage.asp?id=pamukkale.htm]

Nymphaeum

The Nymphaeum is located inside the sacred area, in front of the Apollo temple. It dates from the second century. It was a shrine of the nymphs, a monumental fountain distributing water to the houses of the city via an ingenious network of pipes. The Nymphaeum was repaired in the fifth century during the Byzantine era. The retaining wall was built with elements from the peribolos of the Apollo temple. By doing so, the early Christians cut off the view of the pagan temple. The Byzantine gate was constructed in the 6th century.

Now only the back wall and the two side walls remain. The walls and the niches in the walls were decorated with statues. The Italian archaeological team has excavated two statues of priestesses, which now on display at the local museum.

The Nymphaeum has a U-shaped plan on the continuation of the main colonnaded road. The stone pavement columns and other architectural remains mark a great part of the colonnaded road which ran through in a north-south direction, which has statues and shops around, underneath which passed canals. The road had a base covered with stone blocks, now kept under the pool of the Private Administration. There are two huge doors which were constructed at the end of the 1st century and left outside the city walls.

Necropolis

Following the main colonnaded road, and passing the "Thermae extra muros", an extensive necropolis extends over two kilometers on either side of the old road to Tripolis and Sardis. The necropolis extends from the Northern to the Eastern and Southern sections of the old city. Most of the tombs have been excavated. This necropolis ("city of the dead") is one of the best preserved in Turkey. Most of about the 1200 tombs were constructed with local varieties of limestone. The extent of this necropolis attest again to the importance Hierapolis had in the Antiquity.

Most tombs date from the late Hellenic period, but there is also a considerable number from the Roman period and the early Christian times. People who came for medical treatment to Hierapolis in ancient times and the native people of the city buried their dead in tombs of several types according to their traditions and reflecting the social-economic importance of the people.The tombs and funeral monuments can be divided into four types :
#Simple graves for the common people
#Sarcophagi : some raised on a substructure, others hollowed out in the rocky bottom. Many are covered with a double-pitched roof. Most are constructed in marble and are decorated with reliefs and covered with epitaphs, representing the name, the profession and praising the good deeds of the deceased. These epitaphs have rendered much information about the population. Most sarcophagi have been plundered.
#Circular tumuli, sometimes hard to discern. These mounds have a narrow passageway leading to a vaulted chamber inside.
#The larger family graves, sometimes monumental and resembling small temples.

Martyrium

The St. Philip Martyrium was constructed in the name of St. Philip, one of Christ’s twelve disciples, on top of the hill outside the northeastern section of the city walls. It dates from the fifth century. It is said that St. Philip is buried in the center of the building, but his grave has not been discovered. It didn't exist very long, since it burned down at the end of the 5th or early 6th century, as attested by fire marks on the columns.Already early in history there has been confusion about which Philip of Hierapolis was meant. Cite web|url=http://www.ccel.org/s/schaff/encyc/encyc09/htm/ii.xxxv.htm|title=Philip the Evangelist|accessdate=2007-09-29|publisher=Christian Classics Ethereal Library] This confusion started with a report by Polycrates of Ephesus in his book "Church History" (Hist. eccl., III., xxxi. 3, V., xxiv. 2) Cite web|url=http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf201.iii.viii.xxxi.html|title=Chapter XXXI.—The Death of John and Philip.|accessdate=2007-09-29|author=Polycrates of Ephesus|work=Historia Ecclesiae]

Philip the Apostle was one of the original twelve disciples. He is said to have been martyred in Hierapolis by upside-down crucifixion (Acts of Philip) Cite web|url=http://www.gnosis.org/library/actphil.htm|title=Acts of Philip|accessdate=2007-09-29|publisher=Oxford: Clarendon Press|year=1924] or by being hung upside down by his ankles from a tree.

On the other hand Philip could designate Philip the Evangelist, a later disciple, who helped with administrative matters and had four virgin-prophetess daughters (Acts 6:1-7; 21:8-9). Early traditions say this Philip was martyred by hanging in Phrygia. Cite web|url=http://www.gospeldoctrine.com/NewTestament/Acts21.htm|title=Acts 21:8-9 Philip the evangelist|accessdate=2007-09-29] He is confusingly also called "Philip the Apostle".

Anyway, it seems a prominent person, mentioned in Acts, did die in Hierapolis. This identification of the Evangelist with the Apostle would in itself be a welcome one to the inhabitants of Hierapolis, since this would attract more pilgrims.

The Martyrium had a special design, probably by an architect of the Byzantine emperor. It has a central octagonal structure with a diameter of 20 m. under a wooden dome, covered with lead. it was surrounded with eight rectangular rooms, each accessible via three arches. Four were used as entrance to the church, the other four as chapels. The space between the eight rooms were filled with heptagonal chapels with a triangular apse. The dome above the apse was decorated with mosaics. The whole structure was surrounded with an arcade with marble columns. All walls were covered with marble panes.

Notes

References

* Dr. Cemil Toksöz - "Pamukkale & Hierapolis"; 1995, Eriṣ Turizm Tic Pazarlama, Denizli.
* [http://www.turizm.net/cities/hierapolis/ Hierapolis]
* [http://www.philipharland.com/associations/lycos.html Lycos Valley (Colossae, Laodicea, and Hierapolis)]
* [http://www.whitman.edu/theatre/theatretour/hierapolis/introduction/hierapolis.intro2.htm The Theatre at Hierapolis]
* Paul Arthur - "Byzantine and Turkish Hierapolis, an archaeological guide"; Ege Yayinlari, Istanbul, 2006, ISBN 975-807-134-3 ( [http://www.ajaonline.org/pdfs/book_reviews/111.3/AJA1113Online_14Curta.pdf online book review] )


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Hierapolis — Hiérapolis Hierapoli Pamukkale 1 Patrimoine mondial Arc de triomphe à Hiérapolis, dit Porte de Domitien Latitude Longitude …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Hierápolis — Pamukkale Nombre descrito en la Lista del Patrimonio de la Humani …   Wikipedia Español

  • Hierapolis — • Titular Archdiocese, metropolis of the Province of Euphrates, in the Patriarchate of Antioch • Titular see of Phrygia Salutaris Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Hierapolis      …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Hierápolis — (Ιεραπολις ciudad sagrada), antigua ciudad helenística, hoy en ruinas, ubicada en la actual Pamukkale, provincia de Denizli, Turquía. * * * Antigua ciudad de la actual Siria. Sus ruinas se encuentran al nordeste de Alepo. Centro de culto de la… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • HIERAPOLIS — quae et Bambyca, ubrs Syriae Archiepiscopal. sub Patr. Antiocheno, in Cyrrestica reg. quae Haleppo, teste Bellonio, cum aliis, dieitur, urbs Syriae maxima, et emporium celeberrimum. Aliis Aleppum est, ubi Berthoea fuit, ad Marsyam fluv. et… …   Hofmann J. Lexicon universale

  • HIERAPOLIS — HIERAPOLIS, city in N. Syria situated on the highway from Antioch to Babylon. In ancient times it was a religious center of the goddess Tar ata (Atargatis, Derketa). It was given its name in the Hellenistic period and from that time the temple… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Hierapŏlis — (a. Geogr.), 1) reiche Stadt in Phrygien, auf einem Berge zwischen dem Lykos u. Mäander, mit Tempel der Kybele, großen Krappfärbereien u. Marmorbrüchen; die Gegend enthielt heiße Quellen (die noch jetzt alles versteinern) u. Bäder; eine Höhle… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Hiërapŏlis — Hiërapŏlis, 1) im Altertum Stadt in Großphrygien, zwischen dem Lykos und Mäander, mit Kybeledienst und berühmten Thermen, die große Massen von Travertin absetzen und damit einen Teil der alten Stadt überdeckt haben. Schon zu Paulus Zeiten… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Hiërapolis — Hiërapŏlis, Name mehrerer altgriech. Städte, bekannt bes. das phrygische H. als Badeort heute Pambuk Kalessi, »Schloß der Tröge«, von der Menge der dort liegenden Sarkophage. – Vgl. Humann (1898) etc …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Hierapolis — (jetzt Pambuk Kalessi), großphrygische Stadt am Mäander, mit Cybeletempel, heißen incrustirenden Quellen und einer Sticklufthöhle (Plutonium) …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.